What Is Collaborative Law?
What is Collaborative Law? It’s a relatively new approach to handling divorce cases, which falls somewhere between mediation and litigation, and is designed to permit spouses to be the center of the process, and to tailor-make an agreed divorce to their situation — rather than having attorneys and/or a judge hammer out something which may or may not be the best solution for the soon-to-be ex-spouses and their children. Collaborative Law is now a part of the Texas Family Code and is rapidly becoming more popular as the public becomes more aware of it.
Each spouse has an attorney, and both sides sign a participatory agreement that commits them to working out a settlement, resulting in a win/win resolution. Also, the attorneys agree to withdraw if the collaborative process is unsuccessful, so they cannot benefit from a failure to reach an agreement.
Since attorneys are trained to be a part of an adversarial process, collaborative law requires special training. Only a minority of Texas divorce attorneys have been so trained, and each case requires both sides to be represented. Not all cases are appropriate for using Collaborative Law. It’s especially helpful if children are involved and both parents are committed to remain supportive parents after divorce. In my experience, the collaborative approach requires patience, and can be expensive, although not as expensive as a custody fight.
Choosing the collaborative route is a decision that must be made by the people getting the divorce, and both spouses must be fully committed. I don’t handle any family law cases anymore, collaborative or otherwise, but if you want to know more about Collaborative Law, I sure you can find someone on the internet that does.